It was the fifteenth day,
Krishna asked Bhima to kill the elephant named Ashwatthama;
Yudhishthira was asked to do what he had not done yet then.
Bhima kills the elephant with his mace and yelled: “Ashwatthama is dead…“
Drona heard and first believing it then deny; how can immortal be dead…he had said.
He asked Yudhishthira the truth.
Oh, what has happened then no one knows.
The man who never lied in his full life ’til then said:
“he’s dead…your son has been killed…Ashwatthama is dead…“
And then he paused (hesitation or an act enacted) and in low voice completed
“It’s an elephant, though…” Wheels of his chariot, that never touched ground touched.
The chaos of war camouflaged the last words (or is it the sore father’s soul)
Dronacharya put down his sword Asi and lament in the high tone;
He laments for all the misdeeds, doings evil in the Kurukshetra Battlefield.
Dhristadyumna, son of King Drupad, forward with his sword; his destination awaits.
Arjuna tried to stop him; killing an unarmed warrior is a cowardice act…he dictated.
But, Dhristadyumna was born from fire for this sole purpose; no one can hold him back.
Before much ado, his sword decapitated the meditating penanced Dronacharya.
He laughs to being in success for keeping his promise to kill Dronacharya,
Made to Pandavas. Lesser he knows that he would meet the same fate a few days later.
The poem is based on the Drona-Vadha Parvha of Drona Parva from the epic Mahabharata.
The speech of Yudhishthira is one I, and many of us Bengalis. has grown up with. Whenever deception or some sort of treacherous means has been used to win over the situation, we say and also heard often and sometimes, “Ashwatthama hoto…eetea gojo…” (Ashwatthama is dead…it’s an elephant…).
The Featured Image is Mahabharata Battle Scene “Valiant Brothers at War” painted in Kamasan Style and procured from NOVICA site.